TEEEM Lakota sponsors event featuring world-famous hypnotist

Ilmie Xhaferi, Staff Editor

World-famous hypnotist John Cerbone hypnotized students and community members in the Pascack Valley auditorium on Thursday, Jan. 23. The event was hosted by One Spirit in collaboration with TEEEM to fund the construction of an industrial-sized washing machine and laundry center for the Allen Youth Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 

“This was done in the spirit of giving a hand up to [the Lakota] that have so much to offer us,” PV history teacher and One Spirit co-advisor Leah Jerome said. “I know at the end of the day, our students have so much to gain in the form of knowledge from these individuals who are not defined by their poverty.”

During the event, Cerbone conducted a series of four concentration tests to decide which audience members to bring on stage.

“[The concentration tests] are just a series of small little games that you might play as a kid,” Cerbone said. “It’s move your face this way, move your hand that way, do this and that. Another thing may be hopping or jumping.”

Cerbone then invited 15 audience members to the stage. Upon being hypnotized, the participants engaged in a series of instructions, ranging from dancing, sleeping, and lip syncing.

“The shows are comedy bits, so [participants] can be dancing singing, catching a fish that’s not there, and milking a giant cow — all kinds of crazy stuff,” Cerbone said. “It’s all in good taste and it’s all in clean fun.” 

Audience Reactions

Junior Kiera Foster speaks about hypnotism before the event.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga

Sophomore Rachel Goldblatt shares her thoughts about hypnotism.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga

Juniors Thomas Dewitt and Thomas Betsy discuss their thoughts about hypnotism before the event.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga

Juniors Delia Collis, Kiera Foster, and Delia Sutnick share their hypnotism experience after the event.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga

Juniors and One Spirit members Brianna Harnett and Julie Allmers say their highlights of the night.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga

Juniors and One Spirit members Brianna Harnett, Kayla Garfinkel, and Julie Almers speak about the cause.

Ilmie Xhaferi & Izzy Zuluaga